Sunday, 20 June 2010

Sunday 20 June 2010 - Boys with Toys

Another lovely day in Lochaline with some fantastic, kit-related fun; today we looked at excavation in preparation for our work on the John Preston next week. Colin gave us a presentation on the practical considerations to be made and the uses of underwater excavation before taking us to his back garden for a look at some of the tools of his trade.

Essentially we learned about some ways of processing finds recovered through excavation. What really appealed to me was the use of all kinds of bits and pieces of domestic or trade materials which had been adapted (or combined) to be used for other, quite different purposes. As a diver, I've always enjoyed having my own "custom" kit and I saw this as a part of nautical archaeology with similar opportunities to adapt or build your own gear with a specific task in mind.

After lunch we helped drag an inflatable tender onto a trailer and headed on down to the beach to play with a dredger: an underwater vacuum cleaner! Again this had been constructed from things like a firehose and a U-bend - both designed with quite different uses in mind... We loaded it into the tender then set out to assemble it and fire up the engine before having a go on the sandy seabed.

After some difficulties and frustrations with the dredger's engine (in the end we overcame, of course!) we all got to use the dredger and redistribute some sand... I can see what a useful tool a dredger could be for an archaeological project but to be perfectly honest I also quite enjoyed messing around with all the gear...

Now we have a week of diving on the John Preston to put into practice what we have been learning about - so I suppose now the training's over and the gloves are off... though not in my case as I'm not hard enough to dive without them in 11 degrees water!

Thanks to everyone,


PS If you're reading this blog James, sorry you had to leave so early and hope things work themselves out soon. Take care buddy!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck to all with the excavation. Hope the great weather holds for you.